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(146,272 posts)
9. In 1991, I contracted viral encephalitis. I was driving across the
Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:18 PM
Sep 2019

country with my fiancee at the time when it got bad enough for me to collapse in the car near the California border with Arizona and stop breathing. My wife pulled me out of the car and I started breathing again, but was unconscious. Someone stopped and called for an ambulance on his CB radio.

The ambulance took me to a nearby hospital, which quickly realized that they couldn't cope with my situation, so I was taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Palm Springs.

I had a typical Blue Cross individual insurance policy at the time. I was hospitalized, in a coma, for over a week in Palm Springs, during which time I was seen by an army of doctors, each of whom billed for their inaccurate diagnoses. Finally, the viral encephalitis was diagnosed and they stopped giving me all the intravenous drugs I was on and I began to recover.

Then I was transferred by another ambulance to a different hospital, close to my parents' home, where I finished recovering.

I was on the hook for 20% of the costs, based on my insurance policy. That came to about $20,000, once Blue Cross got the price for everything lowered. OK...at the time i could afford to pay that co-pay and my deductible, although it wiped out my savings.

Then, i got a bill for $5000 for that air ambulance ride. I called Blue Cross, and they had decided that my condition didn't warrant an air ambulance, so they weren't going to pay it. So, OK, I called the air ambulance company to set up a $1000/per month payment plan. The person I talked to said, incredulously, "You're going to PAY?" I said yes. So, I did, $1000/month for five months. that was the weirdest medical bill I ever had to pay.

And then, there were the double billings by three or four specialists who had seen me and misdiagnosed my condition. when I checked with Blue Cross, it turned out that they had already been paid, but billed me anyway. when I called each of those doctor's offices to explain that, they gave me lame excuses for why I had been billed after Blue Cross had paid them. I suppose they were hoping that I'd just go ahead and pay, so they could collect twice on the same thing. Damn them all!

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
Nowhere near as serious as others, but... HerbChestnut Sep 2019 #1
At one time I had insurance with a high deductible treestar Sep 2019 #2
Wow Bev54 Sep 2019 #7
200,000. Out of network cost when my husband had a massive stroke almost 3 years ago. onecaliberal Sep 2019 #3
The ones for medications that Medicare considers to be "off-label" and won't cover. greatauntoftriplets Sep 2019 #4
Small but still absurd Runningdawg Sep 2019 #5
It is absurd to receive any bill Bev54 Sep 2019 #6
We US citizens are the ones who are absurd for doing nothing about it. Sneederbunk Sep 2019 #8
In 1991, I contracted viral encephalitis. I was driving across the MineralMan Sep 2019 #9
Hard to decide. I had a panic attack that I mistook for a heart attack several years ago Politicub Sep 2019 #10
Took care of my Wellstone ruled Sep 2019 #11
After my son was born... JoeOtterbein Sep 2019 #12
The time the insurance company said the general anesthesia for the spinal surgery wasn't covered. WhiskeyGrinder Sep 2019 #13
Mom in a rehab center and she needed her toe nails clipped. They charged $25 per toe. $250. n/t zackymilly Sep 2019 #14
$10,000 for 5 or 6 hours in the hospital Bradical79 Sep 2019 #15
Also the other direction... $4.08 keithbvadu2 Sep 2019 #16
I've had a few, but they were mistakes. Iggo Sep 2019 #17
I got sick while on vacation in NY. DCofVA Sep 2019 #18
I was ill after my last child Bettie Sep 2019 #19
I've never gotten an absurd medical bill. elocs Sep 2019 #20
$250 out of network for an emergency room visit while on a business trip. Blue_true Sep 2019 #21
Latest Discussions»Retired Forums»Democratic Primaries»What's the most absurd me...»Reply #9